If you are in the midst of planning a new business, or have just launched your first startup, there are many important decisions to make and strategies to put in place. One of those that often gets left to the last minute but that is very vital, is how to make it easy for customer to pay you using their preferred method.
You can grow your business more quickly if you utilize a quality merchant services firm from the very start. Read on for some reasons why you should find a payment processing firm today, plus some questions to ask providers when comparing options.
1. More Sales
If you want to increase the number of sales you make every day, signing up with a merchant services provider can help you to do so. It is very important to most consumers these days that they have a variety of payment choices at the checkout, so it is a must to enhance your small-business payment capabilities.
You should make it simple for customers to pay by options such as credit and debit cards, PayPal balances, checks, and other online and over-the-phone methods. A payment processing provider can make it quick, simple and secure to do so, all for an affordable price.
In addition, keep in mind that consumers typically always spend more money, and make purchases more often, when they can use credit cards rather than cash. In fact, some reports show that customers will even spend up to 100 percent more with their card than they will with cash.
As a result, the reality is that, if you’re not accepting non-cash payments in this day and age, you will miss out on the potential to attract many more new customers, as well as lots of repeat business.
2. Secure Online Transactions
Another top benefit of using a payment processing firm for your small business is that doing so enables you to increase the security of transactions. With so many people now using the internet (and particularly mobile devices) to browse, buy, pay bills, and manage their accounts online, it’s important for businesses to ensure that such transactions are secure every time.
By using a merchant services firm, you enable payments to be transacted through third parties, rather than through your own staff; as well, customer information is never kept on-site. This lessens the risk (and the cost) of fraud, as well as the chances of identity theft, data breaches, and bounced checks. Online transactions also reduce, or completely eliminate, the amount of cash your business holds on site. Additionally, this then makes your firm less of a hold-up target.
3. Build Customer Trust
Startups always have to work hard, as a quickly as they can, to build a customer base when they’re brand new. Something that can have quite a dramatic effect on the size of this customer base is how much trust consumers put in your new organization. You can help to build more trust with clients if you accept online payments through a trusted merchant services provider.
Doing so legitimizes your business since consumers feel more comfortable about parting with their funds when they can see that the transaction is organized by a reputable third party, and that their information is not kept on file.
4. Better Management of Funds
Cashflow is another area of business that is very important to startup ventures. Making use of a payment processing provider can help you to manage your money better in a number of ways. For example, payments are handled electronically for you, which removes the need for you to spend time counting cash and then trying to find a chance to bank it.
Merchant services firms generally always automatically create reports on all sales too, which allows you to track your cashflow and progress better. In addition, payment providers process and deposit funds into your bank account within a short space of time, which gives you access to funds more quickly.
Questions to Ask Payment Processing Providers
There are a few key questions you should ask firms before signing on the dotted line. For starters, it is important to find out about the security provided by a merchant services company. Ask the businesses on your shortlist to tell you about the security precautions they take, and look for firms which have CVV2 verification in place, as well as complex encryption algorithms, extensive data encryption, and acceptance of the highest-level SSL certificates.
It also pays to ask companies about what level of customer support they provide. You want to be able to contact a merchant services firm if you have any issues at any time, so only sign up with a company that offers 24/7 service. It is preferable for this to be through multiple communication methods, such as by phone, email, and live chat.
When comparing providers, make sure you also ask them if they have any potential hidden fees, such as cancellation costs or charges for incorporating their system into yours. And ask to see some testimonials or reviews they have received from past clients over the years. If they have won awards it is also worthwhile checking these out for further peace of mind.
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